The present Chelsea regime did not break any rules in keeping quiet about allegations of sex abuse suffered by former youth player Gary Johnson, the English Premier League said.
“After careful consideration, the board has determined that no Premier League rules were broken by the club not reporting this matter to them in 2014,” the Premier League said in a statement. The Premier League said it has insisted that Chelsea – whose present owner Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich took over years after the abuse – have an independent expert carry out a full safeguarding audit.
“The League has no reason to have any concerns about Chelsea’s current provisions in this area, but, given the seriousness of these historical allegations, feels that such a review is an appropriate course of action,” it added.
Chelsea additionally has to provide the Premier League with details of the club’s internal review on historic abuse, launched after Johnson and several other former players came forward to claim they had been abused by scout Eddie Heath back in the 1970’s.
The Premier League said Chelsea has agreed to the requests. The club and Abramovich have been lambasted for imposing a gagging order as a condition of paying Johnson GBP 50,000 ($63,850) compensation in 2015 for the abuse he suffered at the hands of Heath. Johnson said that he would be seeking greater compensation from Chelsea as the abuse had “taken away his childhood”.